Pan-Africanism : Pan African Writers Association PAWA


Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2006

Several decades ago and well before the independence of African countries. Writers and other intellectuals of our continent made several undertakings in vain to organize themselves into Pan African Writer’s Union, ever since the First Congress of Black Writers and Artists held in 1956.Since then this subject has been raised and deliberated on in different fora at various places such as Rome, Algiers, Dakar, Lagos, Luanda, Tashkent, Cologne, Alma Atta, Pyongyang and recently in Brazzaville (Congo).

In 1986, an Extraordinary Assembly of 61 African Writers representing 46 African Writers Unions and Associations met and decided that Africa needed a long-overdue Continental Literary Organization and therefore set up an International Preparatory Committee (IPC) and mandated it with dual mission of organizing the symposium “International Literary Symposium against Apartheid” in Brazzaville, Congo in 1987, and to realize the old dream of the Writers Union as a dynamic association of Writers of Africa.

In working towards the formation of PAWA the IPC sensitized African Writers Unions and Associations as well as African and non-African governments, called on the then Chairman of the OAU, the OAU Secretary-General and attended the Ouagadougou Conference of African Ministers of Culture in April, 1988, at which the OAU pledged support for the creation of PAWA. Other African leaders included the Presidents of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Sierra Leone, the Congo. An IPC delegation met Dr. Boutros Boutros-Gahli, then Egyptian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Culture, Mr. Farouk Hosni, while others went to Algeria, Libya, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Tunisia.

With OAU and UNESCO’s support, the Constituent Congress of PAWA was held at the Kwame Nkrumah Conference Centre, Accra from 7th – 11 November, 1989 under the theme: “African Unity; A Liberation of the Mind.” Representatives from over 36 countries formally signed the Declaration and Constitution that led to the establishment of PAWA;

- “Convinced that literature is the testimony of the people’s creativity and that it has a determining influence on national conscience development for political and socio-economic liberation of the continent;
- Anxious to contribute to the revalorization of African cultural identity, putting a spurt on Panafricanism and the struggle against all forms of racial discrimination.
- Conscious, thus, of necessary co-operation African Writers and the world in order to break the language barriers and to promote the different cultures on the continent by developing them.
- Conscious of the necessary deference of the legitimate rights, especially, the right to freedom and promotion of writers by an independent and autonomous organization, the melting pot of dialogues and cultures, and – committed to promote world peace through literature”.

The Conference of African Ministers of Education and Culture, meeting in Coutonou, Benin, in 1991, made a resolution to the effect that an International African Writers Day be celebrated in all African countries and in the International Community each year, on 7th November , the birthday of PAWA. This will afford the African people a moment of pause within to reflect on the contribution of African Writers to the development of the continent.

The Pan African Writers Association (PAWA), a leading Pan African Cultural Institution accorded full Diplomatic status by the Government of Ghana in 1992, is made up of the 52 National Writers Associations on the continent, and seeks to contribute its quota to moral, cultural and intellectual renaissance in Africa. Indeed, it is to play the role of being an important voice of the African, while seeking to restore to our people, confidence in themselves as African and reinforcing the vision for a common African Home. Since its formation, PAWA has either participated in or organized many worthwhile initiatives, conferences, seminars and the like. The AAssociation has also launched a number of interesting initiatives.

The aims and objectives of the Association shall be as follows:

  1. To provide a forum for all writers of Africa and those of African origin:
  2. To encourage the establishment and recognition of only one national writers association in each African country:
  3. To seek and vigorously defend freedom of expression for all Africans and the material and spiritual interests of African writers their association;
  4. To promote literacy and to eradicate illiteracy in Africa:
  5. To encourage the inclusion of African literary works in the curriculum of educational institutions:
  6. To promote African languages and the translation of African literature in African languages:
  7. To promote research into recording and retrieving lost or undiscovered African heritage whether on the continent, in the Diaspora or in museums and libraries of the world:
  8. To stimulate co-operation between PAWA and Writers organizations of the world:
  9. To promote peace and understanding in Africa and the world through literature:
  10. To establish continental African Publishing house:
  11. To provide wider avenues for the publishing African literature:
  12. To establish an effective distribution network:
  13. To establish a Pan African Journal:
  14. To ensure the protection of the works of African writers through the appropriate copyright laws and agencies:
  15. To institute continental literacy awards:
  16. To organize programs to promote Pan African literacy excellence.
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